Its finally here! This week - the Most Influential Women in Business Luncheon. It feels like it would never get here. I have been waiting for this for 2 months now. The accumulation of the last 2 months all comes together this week. I have the Most Influential Women in Business Luncheon (if you haven't gotten your tickets you need to get them here - it promises to be a sell out) and I have the new board member orientation for My Sister's House AND I have my first board meeting with Charleston's American Marketing Association (did I mention that I'm taking over as the Programming Director for the AMA? Oh, yeah, that's going on too). So how do I find the time for all of this? This is a question that I get asked a lot and I recently did a presentation on Time Management at the Center For Women so do you want some of my best tips? Sorry I don't have any. Just kidding. There are days where I'm not sure how I keep it all going either but here we go.
1. I know my organization style. I can hear you thinking it - what does that mean? That means that I know that I have an analytical mind and I keep track of things very methodically and use technology to keep it all organized. I have a philosophy that there are 2 ends to the spectrum of organization - one is the analytical and other is the visionary. Analytical organizers are those that are very methodical and process oriented. Many times these are those people that are accountants or data driven people. Visionaries are those that are creatives or artists if you will. You know, graphic designers and marketing people. We all fall somewhere within the spectrum and I'm close to the middle but probably lean heavily towards the analytical end of things. I do have tendencies to be visual meaning that I like to write things down and use a paper calendar but generally I use the calendar, address book and tasks on my computer and phone to keep up with everything.
2. Prioritize. What are the top 5 things you have to get done today and what really can wait? I'm not giving you permission to procrastinate but there are some things that just can wait until tomorrow. Making time for yourself and rewarding yourself for a job well done should be the sixth thing on your list to prioritize because if you don't then tomorrow it will be even harder to be motivated.
3. Do what you say and say what you mean. A lot of my organization skills come from my mom because she was a full time mom and real estate agent and she was very adamant about the house being neat and told me and my younger brother all the time to put our junk away or she was going to throw it away. One day, I did not heed the warning and left my homework on the kitchen table and had to explain to my teacher the next morning that my mom tossed my homework away and I needed more time to turn it in (that didn't go over so well). If you don't do what you say and say what you mean, no one, including yourself, will take you seriously. My mom not only kept herself organized by doing this but she made me more organized, which I'm sure wasn't an outcome she anticipated but benefited us both.
We can't actually make more time so we have to find ways to manage it better and these are just a few of my top tips that help me in my personal and professional life. With everything going on in my life I have to keep organized to meet all my obligations otherwise I let someone down hence just letting myself down. Organization may come to me a little easier than most but we can all make a few little changes to get on the road to managing our time better.